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School student knowledge of conservation and ecology

Start date:
01 Jan 2016
End date:
31 Dec 2018
Ryan Keith (PhD candidate) A/Prof Dieter Hochuli Prof Lisa Given Dr John Martin
Project sponsors:
Royal Botanic Garden & Domain Trust, Centennial Parklands
Project partners:
University of Sydney, Charles Sturt University

Project aims

  • Assess students and teachers level of connection to the environment, including their commitments to protecting nature;
  • Assess students and teachers engagement with environmental topics in their home lives and how this relates to their commitment to protecting nature;
  • Assess how students and teachers typically source environmental information with a focus on use of new technologies (e.g., social media platforms);

Project Summary

The term ‘nature-deficit disorder’ describes the phenomenon in modern societies where children are alienated from nature (Louv 2005). Experiential learning, excursions in nature, is one way education institutions attempt to remedy nature-deficit disorder. Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan and Centennial Parklands host approximately 30,000 school students annually. This project aims to assess students’ knowledge and engagement with the environment and conservation, assessing the results in the context of students’ attitudes, family behaviours (e.g. recycling, camping) and sources of knowledge.